Tour de Fitmums takes running club to new lengths with 232 mile cycle challenge

Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by Tom Drinkall

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As avid cyclists region wide prepare for the Tour de Yorkshire, 25 men and women from Fitmums & Friends are taking their commitment to fitness to new lengths with a 232 mile bike ride from Hull to Oxford.

Raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity, the challenge begins on Friday 1 May with the riders leaving Cottingham and planning to arrive in Oxford on Sunday 3 May. Upon their arrival in the historic city, the squad will be met by Oxford Fitmums & Friends Run Leader, Marlies James, for a celebratory four mile run.

Novice cyclist and participant Claire Lyon said, “I’ve never done so much cycling but this really has been a challenge that I have loved, especially the camaraderie of the group. I know this is going to be tough but we are so determined!”

The group are aiming to raise £1500 for the UK’s largest brain tumour charity; which was voted by Fitmums & Friends members as the charity of choice for this event. The Brain Tumour Charity makes a tangible difference for people living with a brain tumour.

Having come through the trauma and uncertainty of serious illness, Fitmums & Friends founder Sam Barlow and her husband Mike are keen to support charities which make a real difference to those suffering. 16 months ago Mike found himself seriously ill in hospital following a 4th operation to remove a rare pelvic tumour. Mike has a stoma as a result of the life changing surgery but is determined not to let it get in the way of the challenge,

“I wouldn’t have believed this was possible a year ago, it’s been the toughest of times but this challenge has been amazing and something I’m utterly committed to – having a stoma doesn’t need to get in the way of life! I can’t wait to get on my bike and raise money to help others dealing with life changing circumstances.”

Clare Rex, Fitmums & Friends member, has been inspired by Sam and Mike’s journey and determination and will also be taking part in the cycle challenge, “Sam and Mike have the most fantastic attitude to life, they inspire and support us all more than they’ll ever realise.”

Not-for-profit group Fitmums & Friends offers running, walking and buggy sessions to men, women and children of all ages in the Hull and East Yorkshire area. The group have been steadily expanding from their humble beginnings with one mum, Sam, and now boast over 500 members across 4 adult groups, 3 junior sections, 2 buggy fitness groups, a post-natal depression support group, an intergenerational choir, and most recently, a cycle squad.

Sam has high hopes for the trip back to Oxford where she used to  run with Headington Road Runners as a nurse:

“I’m so excited about what lies ahead; we’ve trained through the worst of winter and had scrapes along the way but I think we’re ready! It would be fantastic if some of my old triathlon & running pals turn out to welcome us on our arrival in Oxford; if they want to join us on our run then get in touch with Fitmums & Friends.”

Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by Tom Drinkall

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